PRINT PAGEThe Twelfth Victim

Written by Roy Black

Last Friday I was invited to Shabbos dinner at my neighbor’s house. Boris gave a prayer for the twelve victims of the Munich Olympic murders. He framed the issue better than I did; the Olympic spirit was the twelfth victim of the terrorists.

His prayer was right on the money. The murders struck a crippling blow to the 1972 games and the Olympic spirit has been decaying for the last forty years.

These two weeks will be great theater full of drama and excitement. The indomitable spirit of the individual athletes can’t be diminished. A near blind archer breaking a world record, Oscar Pistorius will run 400 meters with prosthetic legs and those who have no chance at a medal will play their hearts out. If only the IOC had the same heart as the athletes.

The deaths cry out for acknowledgment. We humans have ceremonies because of their ritual significance. We mark the important occasions of our lives, birth, death, marriage, with ceremony. Unnatural death may be the most significant of them all.

You can sense the diminished spirit of the games themselves. Hypocrisy can do that.

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1 Comment to The Twelfth Victim

  1. August 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I remember when this happened and not fully comprehending the atrocity of what was unfolding as I sat glued to my television watching Jim McKay try and make sense of it all.
    It was not until I was older that I appreciated the monstrosity of the attack and the precarious position any jew might find himself or herself in at any moment anywhere in the world.

    The Olympic committee blew it big time by not having a moment of silence to remember those jewish athletes who were murdered, on German soil no less. But then again, as much as I love England, her concern for the jews in the last century has been less than sincere in many instances. Certainly the battles between the Irgun and British forces in Palestine in the late 1940’s didn’t help relations.

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